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Kitefoiling

South Korea: Kite Foil Gold Cup Event Summary

The Kitefoil Gold Cup in South Korea has come to a close. A week of firsts for us all, and it certainly was not an event without it’s challenges. The first day on the beach brought enough wind to just about pull off two races. However due to the super light conditions, the funny wind direction and wind shadows, the course was full of holes which meant a fair few kites going for a swim. It wasn’t long before the conditions were deemed too unstable, and racing was called off for the rest of the day. The wind played mind games with us all week, creeping up to the minimum 6 knot threshold just long enough to put the AP flag up and down in the air a few times, but never enough to actually start the race. Those who had come to ride were growing increasingly impatient, while those on the event side searched about for something to keep us all occupied and…well…. Distracted! We got in a few pretty cool activities despite the absence of racing. Daecheon has quite a lot to offer for such a small town- think ziplining, paragliding, trail hiking, and wakeboarding to name a …

Kitefoiling

Nocher and Mai Desjardins Take The First Kitefoil Gold Cup Podiums of the Season

It was victory for reigning KiteFoil GoldCup men’s champion Maxime Nocher along with Anais Mai Desjardins in the women’s fleet, who sealed victory in the year’s first event from four races in light breezes that threatened to die at any moment. But even the fickle airs that shifted and barely topped 8kts were a welcome relief after three windless days that made for a stop-start competition, the first international kite competition in Korea, staged off Boryeong’s stunning Daecheon Beach. While the breezes toyed with riders and race officials alike, Nocher (MON) was flawless on the final fifth day on the Yellow Sea’s flat waters, controlling each of the races even as Italian Riccardo Leccese snapped at his heels hoping for an error or mishap that never came. Nocher, on his unmarked 19m Enata foil kite and Enata hydrofoil, proved unbeatable in the whole regatta marked by a lack of wind, adding the closing day’s four bullets to two he secured on the competition’s opening exchanges. Riding a Mike’s Lab foil and Ozone R1 prototype kite, Leccese managed a good run of second spots that earned him the podium runners-up slot. Yet in the penultimate race he came momentarily unstuck when …

Kitefoiling

Riders Maintain Race Focus Despite Testing Conditions

Daecheon Beach, Boryeong — That top-level kitefoil racing is first and foremost a psychological game almost goes without saying. But in the hothouse atmosphere of the KiteFoil GoldCup series’ opening exchanges the teasing wind—or absence of it—only underscored how those at the pinnacle are masters at maintaining their poise. For many lesser athletes the tension of two windless days that prevented racing, followed by day four’s failed efforts to get races away after the breeze twice dropped below the requisite 6kts average might have been unbearable. Yet in their own unique ways each of the 20 foilers from 13 nations competing in the International Kiteboarding Association’s season-opening KiteFoil GoldCup taking place off Boryeong’s Daecheon Beach, hosted and sponsored by Korea Windsurfing Kitesurfing Association, retained their focus. Monaco’s Maxime Nocher still holds a firm grip on the lead going into the final fifth day courtesy of two bullets from the regatta’s only two races on the opening day, with Riccardo Leccese (ITA) just behind and a three-way points tie for third between Theo Lhostis (FRA), Florian Gruber (GER) and Maks Zakowski (POL). Most craved the opportunity to cement their positions or claw their way up the leaderboard. Lhostis was on the …

Kitefoiling

Legendary Race Coach Savours Prospect of Kiting Gracing Olympics’ Stage

Daecheon Beach, Boryeong — When five-time Olympian Mike Gebhardt asserts that kiting securing a berth at the 2020 Tokyo Games would change everything in the sport, with an explosion of interest and money, it is not to be taken lightly. The renowned racing coach, who helped foiling prodigy Daniela Moroz to her first Formula Kite World Championship title last year at just 15 and Rob Douglas to the 2017 International Kiteboarding Association (IKA) Speed World Championship crown, knows what he is talking about. On the sidelines of the IKA KiteFoil GoldCup series’ opening round in Boryeong’s Daecheon Beach in Korea—where a stubborn absence of wind on day three again allowed no racing—Gebhardt was confident of new and even brighter horizons. Kiteboarding is to be considered as a “showcase” event—short of full medal status—by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in the coming months after World Sailing’s (WS) Council put the sport forward for inclusion. If the IOC agrees the WS proposal—kiting operates under the auspices of WS through the IKA—it is likely that some form of “short-track” kitefoil racing for men and women would grace the XXXII summer Olympiad. Gebhardt, who was instrumental in ensuring kiteboarding momentarily won an Olympic medal …

Kitefoiling

Kiteboarding Hopeful “Showcase” Event for Tokyo Olympics

Unfortunately as we all know in wind sports, the wind does not play ball and the forecasters get it wrong – today was that day here in Daecheon, which sadly left the riders beach bound for the day. However, for the KTA Media team it was a chance to look behind the scenes a little and while the video team descended on the crew and officials, the kiteboarding worlds race reporter took the opportunity to update the sports biggest story, that of the 2020 Olympic Games. Daecheon Beach, Boryeong — Kiteboarding hopes to earn a place on the Olympic stage at the Tokyo 2020 Games after World Sailing (WS) proposed it as one of two “showcase” disciplines to the International Olympic Committee (IOC). In a late February WS Council meeting delegates decided men’s and women’s kiteboarding events should grace the XXXII summer Olympiad, along with keelboat racing, in addition to sailing’s existing 10 medal disciplines. The IOC will consider the proposal in the coming months, but any final move on the “showcase” events would come after the decision about the Olympic medal events in July. As the wind refused to play ball on the second day of the IKA KiteFoil …

Allgemein

World’s Fastest KiteFoilers Poised for Action in GoldCup’s first East Asian Outing

Daecheon Beach, Boryeong — Reigning KiteFoil GoldCup title holder Maxime Nocher has been putting the final touches to his campaign to defend his crown in the season’s eagerly-awaited opening clashes in Korea. Nocher (MON) — who is also the International Kiteboarding Association (IKA) Formula Kite (Foil) world champion — and some of his keenest rivals have been testing conditions off Daecheon Beach, Boryeong. The five days of racing due to commence tomorrow (WED, 17 May) will mark the first time the IKA GoldCup has graced east Asian waters in what is sure to be a thrilling contest as the foilers do close-quarters battle in breathtakingly fast action on the Yellow Sea’s smooth waters. In another Korean first, the Kiteboard Tour Asia (KTA) will simultaneously stage a Twin-Tip Racing competition in the format that will be followed in the Youth Olympic Games to be held in Argentina next year. The dual events being hosted and sponsored by the Korea Windsurfing Kiteboarding Federation, with the support of Boryeong City, will perfectly showcase Daecheon’s endless talcum powder beach framed by tiny islands and blue waters.To mark the events’ kickoff, the Korea Windsurfing Kiteboarding Federation staged a dramatic opening ceremony, complete with exuberant traditional …

Allgemein

KTA South Korea: First Days in Daecheon

The KTA has arrived at our second stop of the season for the IKA Kitefoil Gold Cup and KTA TT:R Open. Our event site for the week, Daecheon Beach, Boryeong is situated on the West coast about a 3 hour bus ride south of Seoul. South Korea is somewhat further flung than our regular stops, being a 5 or 6 hour flight away from most of the team bases in the South East. Upon arrival, it didn’t take long to realise how far north we had come. Boardshorts and t-shirts were quickly swapped for jeans and jumpers, and Neil even pulled out his winter flip flops. Accessing Boryeong isn’t hard, thanks to the insanely efficient airport bus system. The buses run like clockwork, and are kitted out with big comfy armchairs, making the trip easy and enjoyable. The only downside is that there are only a few buses a day, and as we just missed one we ended up having to wait in the airport for 5 hours for the next. When we eventually hit the road to Boryeong, it gave us the chance to have our first look at the Korean countryside. For many it was nothing like what …

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